Homegrown Music Festival

starts Sunday, and did you get your field guide yet?

For the uninitiated, we’re talking 160 acts performing at 35 venues that run the gamut from Duluth’s Kom-on-Inn and Greysolon to Superior’s Main Club and Earth Rider Brewery.

Homegrown Music Festival focuses on West Duluth Wednesday evening

Max Mileski, left, performs with Sadkin during the Homegrown Music Festival on May 4, 2022, at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth.

Clint Austin / File / Duluth Media Group

This year’s festival runs from Sunday, April 28, to Sunday, May 5. The field guide is the go-to source for all things Homegrown with band profiles, venue maps, kickball tournament details and more.

What started as a 36-page magazine published by the now-defunct

Ripsaw alternative newspaper

now runs around 100 pages.

This year,

Annmarie Geniusz

joins area artists like

Tom Moriarty,

Chris Monroe


Heidi Blunt

whose works have landed on the cover of the omnipresent publication. Here’s what she had to say.

Q. Describe the Homegrown chicken in three words.

A. Sleepless monster bassist.

Q. Congrats again on the cover! Tell me about your design inspiration.

Stacks of music festival field guides show a chicken gripping a severed wrist.

Artist Annmarie Geniusz designed this year’s Homegrown Field Guide cover. A stack is available at Dovetail Cafe, one venue at the festival.

Melinda Lavine / Duluth Media Group

A. I heard a beautiful lie of a rumor that Duluth has an underground luchador wrestling league, and several of the Homegrown steering committee members are also breathing zombie-like life into the

Twin Ports Horror Society.

Those two thoughts combined with the excitement of another year of


Q. Describe your fondest Homegrown memory, and which event(s) are you most looking forward to this year?

A. Memory: It was in the bathroom of Pizza Luce, pre-remodel. They used to have two sinks that faced each other, with an empty frame hanging up between them that sort of felt like a mirror was hanging there.

musicians perform during music festival

Fans cheer for Glitteratti during the Homegrown Music Festival on May 3, 2023, in Duluth.

Clint Austin / File / Duluth Media Group

I was washing my hands and looking down, no one across the way. I looked up and in the false mirror was Mary Bue dressed as the Electric Witch, staring wide-eyed into my face and startling the crap out of me!

This is also known as the moment I fell in love with Mary Bue.

I’m most looking forward to kickball.


Fred Tyson, left, in blanket, sings during the seventh-inning stretch at the Homegrown Kickball Classic in 2017.

Barrett Chase / File / Duluth Media Group

And, if

Venus de Mars

and Richie Townsend (Lesser Planets) show up, Saturday night is going to win for sure! Secret weapons, both of them.

Q. Any festival tips for newbies?

A. Have a “Homegrown survival kit” in your car or backpack. Mine includes earplugs, aspirin, a granola bar, Pepto-Bismol, eye drops, face wipes, hand sanitizer and a KN-95.

Q. Where can folks catch your work next?

A. I have a few stained-glass pieces at

Alt Creative,

Canvas Convergence (Twin Cities) and soon more 3-D ones at Lizards Art Gallery.

My next scheduled chalk mural will be at the Maple Grove Chalkfest in June, unless someone needs some Homegrown art?

Q. If the Homegrown chicken could talk, what would they say?

A. “Rawk rawk RAWWwwwk!”

Figures in gorilla and chicken suits dance on pavement on a sunny day, with an audience of children and adults looking on.

Luke Sharman, left, as Guy the Gorilla, dances with the Homegrown chicken at Homegrown’s Children’s Music Showcase at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth in April 2018.

Clint Austin / File / Duluth Media Group

Homegrown Field Guide artists from the past 10 years:

A collection of field guide covers featuring a chicken.

Homegrown Field Guide covers by local artists mark the history of the eight-day festival, clockwise from top left: Moira Villiard, Tom Moriarty, Chris Monroe, Carolyn Sue Olson and Sarah Brokke.

Photo illustration / Duluth Media Group

Melinda Lavine

Melinda Lavine is an award-winning, multidisciplinary journalist with 17 years professional experience. She joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2014 as its features editor, and today, she writes about the people, the heartbeat of the community.

Melinda grew up in central North Dakota, a first-generation American and the daughter of a military dad.

In 2006, she earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from the University of North Dakota, and that summer, she started her career as a copy editor and page designer at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, a Forum Communications Co. sister publication. In 2012, she helped launch the Herald’s features section, as the editor, before moving east to do the same at the DNT.

Contact her: 218-723-5346, [email protected].


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